I’m a bonafide Kigali person; I don’t work quite as well in any other place (Kampala almost makes me feel like a native but not quite…) and probably the worst place to be for the oldest bachelor south of the Sahara and north of the Limpopo is Butare.
Maybe I’m getting grumpy (I do have a case of tonsillitis that’s absolutely killing me – which I got as soon as I stepped off the bus I must add), maybe I’ve been spoiled by the fun to be had in Kigali but I seriously think that this town down here in the Southern Province is not for me.
Like I said earlier, as soon as I disembarked I felt a weird twinge in my throat. First I thought it was the onset of the flu but I wasn’t so lucky. It’s like my good fortune deserted me as soon as I crossed the Nyabarongo River.
The bus reached Butare under the cover of darkness and as I started walking the heavens opened up. Those that know Butare will attest to the fact that this town isn’t a lark when it rains.
When the rain falls, it pours….and it superbly poured on yours truly. I had to seek shelter at a supermarket called Matar. Thankfully, the finest (i.e. the best prices for the best food) café in Rwanda (no lie), Cheers, is found in the same supermarket.
Now let me give you an example…for Frw 1,500 you can get a burger, French fries, coleslaw and a soda of your choice. Now tell me that isn’t a bargain?
Anyway, enough of that. By eight that evening the rain had subsided and I could walk to my campus room. I’m used to proper accommodation but because I’m still a student, I have to lower my standards.
The room that the campus saw fit to give me is tiny and, to make matters worse, I have to share it with two fellows who share a single bed. Don’t think these fellows as gay because they aren’t (I hope so anyway) because sharing beds here is a normal thing to do.
Me? I’d rather spend a few nights in the forests of Ituri than sleep with another guy. My experience of sharing a bed is strictly with occupants of the female kind!
Anyway, I find the room in a mess but my roommates look at me like nothing is wrong. After swearing at them, I strode out of the room to look for some female company. Sadly, I’d forgotten that since the academic year was fast coming to an end, most of the girls have gone home.
So, there I was, all alone and not even a lady to perk me up. I was left just one option.
I walked (yes, I do a lot of walking in this place…I can’t be bothered to get a ‘moto’ when this place is shorter in length than Kacyiru) to Faucon Hotel.
For all you history buffs I’d like to inform you that it is the oldest hotel in Rwanda. Sadly, it’s showing its years but it has its good points; like for example the fact that the beers there aren’t as expensive as they are in the swankier Ibis Hotel. But I should have just stayed in my room and ordered room service.
I was wearing a blue t-shirt and as soon as I entered the bar area I was waylaid by a bunch of obviously drunk Rayon Sports football club fans who thought that I was a fellow fan. I was dragged about by fellows with Waragi-breath, and I forced to sing along to some random football chants.
First of all, anyone who knows me knows that unless you are talking about Manchester United, don’t bother me. But just to be left alone I had to buy them drinks. And you ask why I’m not having fun here?